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Work Motivation - ESTP and ESFP Occupations and Careers Advice

Updated on March 1, 2018
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Deidre has a Masters in applied linguistics and translation for her 20 years overseas, then she worked as a certified provider of the MBTI®.

We have the choice of situations that energize us and drain us. Certain things or occupations can build us up or tear us down. Such knowledge, often determined in career or personality tests, can help guide us in team building at work or in managing our own lives. Employee engagement and motivation can be better encouraged by considering individual personality types. Let's look at the ESTP and ESFP personalities.

Two similar personalities

by joshdeweese
by joshdeweese | Source

Why Personality Type?

Personality type is a way to understand what keeps us going and what energizes us. We have a natural inborn preference that determines certain kinds of work situations as more comfortable and therefore more enjoyable. Careers and occupations with these work situations are more ideally suited for us and provides some of the how to motivate employees.

Each of the 16 Myers-Briggs® personality types uses mental energy in a unique way. This is an important element behind employee productivity.

What personality type is

Our 4 Mental Functions

There are four mental functions, or processes, according to Jung's typology; two opposite ways of gathering information and two opposite ways of making conclusions. The two ways of gathering of information has to do with how we Perceive, and the two ways for making conclusions has to do with how we Judge.

4 Mental Functions 
Through detailed facts from experiences  
ways we gather information
Through global wholes of possible interrelationships  
On objective logical analysis of the information
ways we make conclusions
On the value of the information


We all use each of these four mental functions. A basic way we differ from each other, though, is how we use each of the four. Ever wonder why siblings brought up by the same parents in the same household in the same location can still be so different? You've got it! The way each uses the four mental functions can make huge differences!

The Favorite Mental Function

Each person uses one of the four mental functions as their favorite. This favorite (or dominant) mental function uses the lion's share of a person's psychological energy. This favorite mental function is therefore the most conscious of the four -- the one we are most aware of and can most readily control, or direct.

This is how we can know what energizes us mentally! We very much enjoy using our favorite mental function and tend to acquire a lot of experience and competence with it. We naturally tend to choose to take on tasks, relationships and even careers, that energize us in this way.

ESTP and ESFP Energizers

Let's look at what energizes the ESTP and ESFP Myers-Briggs personality types. You share the same favorite mental function, Sensing, to gather information as detailed facts of your experiences. As extraverts you use this in the outside world.

Here are the Sensing activities, environments and resources you ESTPs and ESFPs most enjoy and derive benefit from, and therefore are what energize you at work.

Energizing environments and resources

Activities You Enjoy 
Environments You Enjoy 
Interact with people
Variety and flexibility 
Ask for help when “stuck” or overwhelmed 
Working on a team 
Optional ways to accomplish tasks 
Choose to ignore or avoid distractions while working 
Using your memory for specifics 
Specific tasks and goals 
Focus away from other’s negativity by reading or changing activity 
Clear structures

How the Likes of the ESTP and ESFP Differ

In addition to these common features, you ESTPs are energized by having the chance to lead and direct others and to successfully achieve goals, having Thinking as your second favorite mental function. This is reflected, too, in your desire for autonomy.

You ESFPs prefer a work setting with friendly and compatible team relationships, more that autonomy. Even if dissatisfied with lack of job promotions, job security, work stress and good salary, you ESFPs tend to report being satisfied with the people you work with. You don't mind "toeing the line" at work, as long as no extra work hours are expected and your job is relatively straightforward and simple. You devote much of your energy, instead, to relationships and activities outside of work, having Feeling as your second favorite mental function.

Sensing vs Intuitive

Typical Resources and Remedies

You ESTPs and ESFPs will know you have become a veteran of life's struggles by having developed well a

  • Reduced fear of possibilities

  • Appreciation of the unknown

  • Assurance of own mental stability

  • Access to your own intuition

Realizing what energizes you, in particular, is a way to grasp what it is that you can do to counteract many of life's energy drainers. You managers may find, when you know an employee's personality type, you can better motivate your staff through engaging them in work activities and environments that energize, rather than drain.

Managing our own activities, environments and resources, or that of our staff, may help avoid low morale and even staff attrition more often than not. I encourage you to give this a think, and a try!

© 2010 Deidre Shelden


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